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Apathy Made Easy

July 4th, 2007 · Written by · No Comments


Having trouble rationalizing your passive-aggressive tendencies toward the War in Iraq? Fear not my friend! I’ve compiled a handy-dandy list of reasons not to protest the war – even though you utterly hate it – that will bring piece of mind while still allowing you to rant and rave ‘til your big ol’ heart’s content!

I: You have to maintain your MySpace site. That’s right… Updating your profile, uploading recent pictures, changing your song, writing a new blog, redesigning your page and background, relisting your favorite bands, movies, books, and influences – all of this can be extremely time consuming. It’s important to network your entire existence while simultaneously showing off your lengthy list of friends so that people can get to know the REAL you. Because, goddamn it, this is a movie and you’re the star. I mean, this is life and YOU are in it.

II: Dancing with the Stars has really captured your imagination. Who knew that George Hamilton was a better dancer than actor? Or that Jerry Rice was a “dream” on the dance floor? Hell, even speed skaters can surprise the American public with their tango and cha-cha skills. Are they dancing or acting? Who cares?! Tune in next week to see who stumbles, who tumbles, and who dances WITH the stars!

III: Getting drunk at the bar twice a week and listening to shitty cover bands is important. As you know, Traverse City, MI is a hotbed for up-and-coming bands – at least, according to the Northern Express – and by-gum it’s your duty to go out, buy overpriced domestic beers and “get your freak on” while listening to “Mustang Sally” or “Brown-Eyed Girl.” So what if the band never tours outside the tri-county area, records any albums of note, or actually experiments with something other than blues-based rock? They’re not big fish in a small pond, they’re bottom feeders in a large mud puddle – but hey, even bottom feeders need groupies, and that’s where you come in. So drink up those pitchers and let out your rebel yell!

IV: What would people think if you actually acted on your opinion? What do people expect these days, an action based upon an idea or belief!? Geesh! You’re not going to rock that boat. I mean, why would you? You don’t need people saying stuff about you behind your back. Being passive-aggressive isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s the best of both worlds – you get to vent about an issue or person, and by not walking the walk you save yourself from potentially awkward situations. Why do people always underestimate inaction? Silence is golden, and gold is really pretty; so stay gold my friends.

V: Multiple, daily cell phone conversations about pointless bullshit take too much of your energy. Being able to speak with anyone anywhere at anytime has really made life friggin’ sweet. Granted, it requires some time from your day (pretty much every second you’re not working, sleeping, or eating) and sometimes gets in the way of real person to person conversation. And sometimes your cell sings like a sweet, sweet Siren, calling to you, needing you, wanting you. “Come to me,” it croons. “See if you missed a call. Go on, text ‘U R 2 cute’ to John.” You’re Gollum and your cell phone is your “precious,” sucking away at your soul. But you wouldn’t have it any other way because that little box with wires fills your veins with instant gratification. And who needs anything else?

VI: You already vented on a bunch of blogs and chat rooms about how war sucks – what else could you possibly do?! Cyberspace certainly has opened up some doors in your life – allowing you to let loose those little demons in your brain. Operating under codename Steelglory23, you enjoy the subtle double entendre because your writing steals glory and comes down upon fellow bloggers like hard steel. You get a tiny euphoric feeling in your chest as you type away, laying down the law regarding WMD’s, Haliburton, right-wing fanaticism, and the evils of Dick Cheney. For a brief moment you’re alive and aligned with the universe, comfortable knowing your words might be read by 12 people. And those 12 people will know how smart you are, and that’s pretty cool. Yeah.

VII: Your life’s plotline doesn’t include self-sacrifice for beliefs bigger than yourself. You’re an idealist. You want the world to live in harmony, you want Sunnis and Shiites to get along, you want American troops out of Iraq so they can stop dying, you want Iraqi civilians to live in a country of peace, you want the U.S. to stop being a war monger, you want to climb a mountain and yell: “Can’t we all just get along!?” Yet, under your breath you mumble: “Do I have to get involved personally?” Thing is, you’ve got a lot going on and the last thing you need is to get involved with some half-brained notions of peace, love, and understanding. For God’s sake, that could really disrupt your summer vacation plans! “Thanks but no thanks,” you say. “My calendar is too full of parties, events, and personal fulfillment to be sacrificing any of my time.”

VIII: Only “hippies” protest, and you don’t want to give people the wrong idea. You’re no left-wing nut job, much less a damned socialist. It smells like patchouli whenever you come across a protest, and that’s enough to turn your head the other way. Sit-ins: hippie self-righteous lovefests. Letters to U.S. Senators: fruitless beatnik literature laced with tofu residue. Protest marches: tie-dyed, sandal slappin’ parades of long-hairs chanting “love thy neighbor” slogans with the hope of starting polygamy farms. So, “No,” you say, “I refuse to get involved with that riff-raff.” You don’t like the war any more than they do, but that’s why you bought a bumper sticker.

IX: You won’t make a difference. Seriously, what can one semi-informed voice actually hope to accomplish? First of all, the numbers – locally – just aren’t there. Whenever you see a peace gathering you’re amazed there are not MORE people. You know a majority of Americans hate the war, including yourself. But when you happen upon antiwar protests, the number of protesters doesn’t come close to representing the perceived majority. There’s no way activism will make a difference toward ending the war in Iraq. You’re just sure glad you had this talk with yourself.

X: Life’s hard enough – why put time into something that won’t deliver instant results? Protesting the war won’t make you money unless you’re a popular political analyst who just wrote a scathing book. You don’t mean to seem shallow, but, damn it, time is money and life’s too hard to be wasting earnin’ potential on antiwar activism. You don’t need the added pressure, dare I say burden, of feeling obligated to lend your voice and emotional energy to something that won’t give you any substantial returns. Even though you feel passionately about ending the war, you have to be hard-hearted when it comes to sacrificing any part of yourself to just causes. Not participating wasn’t an easy decision, but it was necessary to avoid changing your lifestyle.

If, heaven forbid, these excuses aren’t cutting it, here are a few resources that will get you started:

Tags: Opinion · · ·

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